One of the recommendations of “The Action Plan - A Social Partnership Forum Action Plan for Maximising Employment Opportunities for Newly Qualified Healthcare Professionals in a Changing NHS” published on 13 April is that East of England strategic health authority undertake a feasibility study to maximise employment opportunities for newly qualified health care professionals. This will include assessing the feasibility of an employment guarantee scheme for newly qualified health care professionals.
The feasibility study will last for one year and was officially launched on 15 May by East of England strategic health authority.
The outcome of the feasibility study will determine whether employment guarantee schemes are a viable option. If so, the nature and length of these schemes will be defined upon relevant factors established through the study.
Stakeholder representatives on the social partnership forum will be involved in this decision-making process and the final outcome, once known, will be published.
The recently published census showed there has been a small reduction in the overall national health service work force of 8,118 full-time equivalent (FTE) or 0.7 per cent. of the total (17,390 headcount) in England from September 2005 to September 2006. This should be seen in the context of there being almost 250,000 FTE (280,000 headcount) more staff working in the NHS in England than in 1997 as there are now over 34,000 FTE (35,000 HC) doctors and over 65,000 FTE (79,000 HC) more nurses in the NHS than in 1997.
Doctors account for 13.9 per cent. of the FTE increase in the work force and nurses 26.5 per cent., compared with just 5.5 per cent. managers.
There has been an increase in the number of doctors and an increase in the number of permanent qualified nurses now in the system. In addition, there are now fewer managers working in the NHS, the first fall since 1995.
The numbers show that the work force overall is starting to re-balance with demand equalling supply.